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What Is Self-Direction & Why Is It Important?

What began as a Veterans Administration program at the end of World War II is now a long-term care model known as self-direction. Veterans who fought in WWII and came home with disabling injuries were given the option to hire their caregivers with their disability benefits. It wasn’t until the 1990s that this model was integrated into the healthcare system and available to the general population. Today, self-directed participants can choose healthcare services and hire caregivers to accommodate specific needs. Direct Care Innovations offers customized solutions for self-direction agencies. Let’s examine what self-direction is and why it’s important for participants.

What is Self-Direction & Why Is It Important?

What Is Self-Direction?

Self-direction allows individuals to make decisions regarding their healthcare. They can decide the specific type of services they need, choose helpful supports for independent living, and hire a caregiving agency or particular caregiver to deliver those services. The expectation behind self-directed programs is for individuals of all disabilities to receive the care they need while maintaining their independence. 

In some cases, self-directed participants can use healthcare funds to pay for goods and services that promote independent living and lessen their dependence on healthcare services. For example, funds may be available to renovate a bathroom to make it accessible so the individual can practice personal hygiene without the assistance of a provider.  

Why Is It Important?

Self-direction offers four important advantages for participants:

  • Control: Self-direction members have full control of their healthcare. They can train caregivers, set up schedules, and create treatment plans, whereas traditional providers and agencies control most aspects of their specific treatment.
  • Independence: Self-directed programs are flexible, person-centered, and cost-effective. Many individuals would have to live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes without them. 
  • Support: Self-directed individuals can utilize various supports while receiving healthcare services. These include financial management services, administrative responsibilities, and basic employer duties.
  • Choice: One of the greatest benefits is that participants can hire family members or friends to provide various services. If they cannot perform employer duties, a representative can be appointed to serve as the employer. 

Business Management Software for Consumer Direction Agencies

DCI carries one of the few business management solutions specifically designed for the needs of Consumer Direction Agencies. We work with other agencies that assist participants with self-direction, including Fiscal Management Services, Fiscal Intermediaries, and Agencies with Choice. Our home healthcare business management software offers several solutions, including fiscal intermediary vendor payments, EVV services, real-time authorization management, and medical billing. Call (480) 295-3307 to request a sales demo today. 

Source: “What Is Self-Direction?” Web article. Applied Self-Direction. Web. 29 Jun. 2023.

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